The research of an international team co-led by SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs is receiving worldwide coverage for discovery of the first dinosaur tracks discovered in Angola, including those of a mysterious mammal from 118 million years ago.
Reporter Hannah Osborne wrote about the discovery Nov. 5 for The International Business Times in the article “Angola: Huge Mystery Mammal Tracks from Early Cretaceous Period Discovered in Catoca Diamond Mine.”
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology announced the discovery in a press release Nov. 5, “African diamond mine reveals dinosaur and large mammal tracks.”
The discovery was made by a Octávio Mateus, a member of Projecto PaleoAngola.
Jacobs, a professor of earth sciences at SMU, is a former president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. His research focus is the interrelationships of biotic and abiotic events through time.
SMU paleontologist Michael J. Polcyn is also a member of the Projecto PaleoAngola team.
The PaleoAngola researchers have described Angola as a “museum in the ground” for the abundance of fossils there.
A professor in Dedman College’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Jacobs joined SMU’s faculty in 1983.
In the laboratory, Jacobs’ research utilizes advanced imaging and stable isotope techniques to investigate paleoenvironmental, biogeographic and phylogenetic issues of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras.
Polcyn is director of the Visualization Laboratory in SMU’s Department of Earth Sciences and an SMU research associate.
A world-recognized expert on the extinct marine reptile named Mosasaur, Polcyn’s research interests include the early evolution of Mosasauroidea and adaptations in secondarily aquatic tetrapods. Polcyn’s research also includes application of technology to problems in paleontology.